Each month we highlight an Ohio 4-H alumnus. They have amazing stories to share, from their personal experience in 4-H to how they have given back to the program. This month we feature Angela Krile of Krile Communications in Fairfield County.
When I say that 4-H is the single most impactful organization I have been a part of in my entire life, I’m not exaggerating. More than school, college or any board of directors I have had the privilege to serve, 4-H has been the “edge” that has made the difference for me.
First, the friendships forged through 4-H are some of the strongest friendships I have ever had – and in fact, my “4-H soul sister,” Susan Montgomery McDonald, would definitely agree. She and I met when we were in our early teens through a 4-H leadership experience. And to this day, we have parallel lives two counties away from each other and remain the kind of friends who don’t have to talk every day, but somehow know the exact moment the other needs to talk. We have a deep connection – the kind of connection that 4-H builds.
These incredible friendships are just a bonus to the career skills and networking opportunities I gained through 4-H. From public speaking and leadership to learning how to be an effective mentee and mentor, the opportunities to learn and gain experiences through 4-H were endless. My career – my ENTIRE CAREER – can be tied back to one man – Jim Helt, then state 4-H leader, who introduced me to Mary Cusick when I was still in high school and serving on a state 4-H board as a youth representative. Mary was single-handedly responsible for affording me the opportunity to have an incredible internship experience while I was in college and for helping me get a foot in the door at my first “real” job outside of college at Cochran Group. That job with Cochran, which lasted 13 years, was the experience of a lifetime where I was able to learn from some of the best professionals in the public relations industry and working at the Statehouse and with companies that are household names.
From there, I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to start a business in my hometown of Sugar Grove to serve clients with the skills I learned and experiences I cultivated over the years. Today, we have five full time and 7 part time team members and work with clients across our community to make the world better through our work. This career also led to other exciting opportunities, like being appointed to serve as a commissioner with the great Ohio State Fair! In this role, I get to continue to encourage youth in 4-H and FFA every day of the fair!
My children are now 4-Hers and I get to be an assistant advisor to their club. Our family works together to get market hogs and rabbits ready for the fair, and I help my sons learn how to answer interview questions and prepare still projects for judging. It is an absolute blessing that 4-H has been part of my life and it will be for the rest of my life, of that I am certain!